U.S. intelligence officials have long been worried about the danger of Venezuelan military weapons falling into the hands of criminals or terrorists as the socialist country collapses.
Grinch -9 (SA24)
Reuters <http://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-arms-manpads-idUSKBN18I0E9> added some high-octane nightmare fuel on Monday by reporting on military documents that confirm Venezuela has about 5,000 Russian-made shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles in its inventory. That would be substantially more than the roughly 3,800 missiles described in fragmentary shipping records supplied by Russia to the United Nations.
Contrary to multiple reports in both US Main Stream Media and world press, there has been NO major deployment of US naval assets into the Sea of Japan and approaches to the Korean Peninsula. Fake News stories in the US print and electronic media suggested that there were Three US Carrier Strike Group and one Amphibious Ready Group being deployed to the Sea of Japan, to put pressure onto the government of North Korea.
The supposed massive buildup of US naval power around Korea was a totally false report put about by US MSM outlets and has no basis in fact. The USS Carl Vinson CVN-70 carrier strike group left Singapore after a scheduled R&R visit, and is in the Southern end of the 7th Fleet AOR apparently heading for Northern Australian waters for a planned major multi-national exercise that is getting underway. Other major naval assets falsely reported by the MSM as heading for North Korean sea approaches included, the USS Ronald Reagan CVN-76. The USS Ronald Reagan never left its home port of Yokusuka Japan .The other falsely reported Carrier Strike Group headed for Korean waters the USS Theodore Roosevelt CVN-71 which remains just of the California coast carrying out normal scheduled tailored ship’s training. The only other major Naval asset, inside the 7th Fleet AOR off Asia is the USS Makin Island ARG. That ARG is nowhere near Korean waters and is in fact operating SW of the island of Guam.
Maybe it’s because the complexity is difficult to distill; maybe it’s because some just can’t give President Trump any credit; or maybe it’s because the scope is too challenging to comprehend against the constant belittlement meme du jour; regardless of reason, President Trump is fundamentally realigning international geo-political alliances and almost no-one is connecting the dots.
President Trump obviously held a long-ball strategy with the Chinese; he’s described the approach in his books and lived the approach in his business life:
At the outset, position yourself at the furthest oppositional point when it costs you nothing; then leverage inward toward your opponent as they expend their resources to meet your stance.
So far Trump is playing it straight down the line. His much touted backtracking on Chinese currency manipulation is not quite as straight forward as the MSM makes it out to be. Big surprise.
On April 14, the U.S. Treasury Department released its semiannual report on the currency exchange policies of major U.S. trading partners. The report found that currently no country’s policies could be considered manipulative within the context of both current definitions and past practices. However the US kept China, Japan, Germany, Taiwan, South Korea and Switzerland on the list of countries to monitor. The current reported findings are in contrast to Trump’s campaign rhetoric on China, but they are in line with current economic thinking and legal definitions regarding currency manipulation.
Trump’s administration is being constrained by the current legal definitions, case law and by past practice criteria — bilateral trade balances, current account balances and currency intervention policies — used in previous reports to determine which countries should be monitored. Nothing has changed so it’s no wonder the US bureaucracy had the same opinions that they’ve held for the past 8 years.
The current information war, that is raging globally, makes it difficult to assess which description of the Trump Tomahawk strike on the Syrian airfield at Shayrat is closest to the facts. Even the facts as to whether there was actually a chemical war-gas attack was being called into question. Emerging facts seems to reinforce that indeed there had been a release of war-gas in Khan Sheikhoun Syria and that people had died. Other than that probability we have to enter a ‘Wilderness of Mirrors’ where truth is a very slippery commodity. As Churchill was reported as to have said,” In war the first casualty is the truth”.
At first blush three possible scenarios come to mind:-
#1 Assad launched an aircraft bombing raid carrying Sarin gas munitions and attacked civilians in Khan Sheikhoun killing many innocents.
#2 The Syrian air force bombed a rebel / islamist logistics installations in Khan Sheikhoun using conventional bombs. Secondary explosions suggested that a major rebel munitions and possibly a manufacturing facility had been hit, releasing stored Chlorine & Sarin war-gasses, killing many innocents.
#3 This was an inside job by rogue US security services to tear the initiative from Assad’s grasp and forestall his victory in the Syrian Civil War. Collateral damage saw the killing many innocents.
Occam’s Razor suggests that either scenario #1 or #2 as most probably likely scenarios, with #2 shading scenario #1 based on current information.